natives, he returned to Spain previously to the death of Ferdinand, was favorably received by that monarch and by his minister, te Cardinal Ximenes, and succeeded in procuring the appointment of three superintendents of the colonies, to whom he himself was oinked, with the well-earned title of "Protector of the Indians." The mission, however, was of small avail. The Spaniards of Hispaniola opposed every obstacle, representing that without compulsion the Indians would not labor, and that without their labor the colony could not submit. Finding no countenance in the island, Las Cases again returned to Spain, where he arrived shortly before the death of Ximenes, and found Charles V successor of Ferdinand.
Then it was, after a vain endeavor to procure the freed, of the aborigines, that Las Cases, thinking that a hardier race than they would suffer less as slaves, a recommended to Ximenes the policy of supplying the labor market of Hispaniola with negroes from the Portuguese settlements on the African coast.
This, though affirmed by Robertson, b following Herrera, is denied by several modern authors of repute. c But the simple fact that Las Cassas did make such a proposal, though not until after a certain number of African slaves had been imported into the New World, is beyond denial, seeing that it has been stated, and nobly atoned for, so far as frank acknowledge of error can atone, by Las Cassas himself, writing his own history shortly before his death, in that retirement to which, after years of fruitless exertion in behalf of the suffering natives, he betook himself. These, literally translated, are his words:
This advice, that license be given to bring negro slaves to these lands, the ecclesiastic Cases first gave, not taking note of the injustice with which the Portuguese seize them and make them slaves; which advice, after he had reflected on the matter, he would not have given for all he possessed in the world, for he always held that they were made slaves unjustly and tyrannically, seeing that the same rule applies is their case as in that of the Indians. d
Ximenes, whether from motives of policy or humanity, rejected Las Casas" proposal, dying soon after.
Las Cases renewed the proposal, after Ximenes" death, to the ministers of Charles, by whom it was more favor of the "India House of Seville" having recommended 4,000 as
a Herrera (December 1, Lib. 9, C. 5) affirms that one negro was considered equal as laborer, to four Indians.
b Robertson's History of America, Vol. 1. 321. The coinsure conveyed in the words of this autor, when he says of Las Casas, "In the warmth of his zeal to same the aborigines from the yoke, he pronounced it to be lawful and expedient to impose one still heavier on the Africans, "implies, when given thus without explanation, too harsh a judgment of a good man.
c Dollinger (Hist. Eccl., Vol. 3, SEC. 160, p. 397) makes an argument, with evidence adduced, in proof that the imputation is unjust. Cochin discredits the charge, stating the in the debates which Las Casas was forced to sustain against Quevedo, bishop of Darien, and also against the confessor and historian of Charles, Sepulveda, "this opinion is found neither on his lips nor on these of his adversaries." (L"Abolition del"Esclavege, Vol. 1. p, 286.) The explanation of this may be that by that time he ma have repented have repented the advice which a few years before he had given.
d Este a aviso de que se diese licencia para trear esclavos negroes a estas tierras, dio primero el clerigo Casas, no advirtiendo la injustica con los Portugueses, los toman haven esclavos; el qual despues de que cuyo en ello, no lo dier por quanto habia en el mundo. Per que siempre los tuvo por injusta y tiranicamente hechos esclavos, por la misma razon es de ellos que de los Indias. (Las Casas Hist. de las Indias, Lib. 3, Tom. 2, Captain 101.) Las Cases here speaks of himself in the third person.